Recognizing Divine Opportunity

So what is opportunity? Is it something we all have? Is it something rare or is there an abundance of it? Is opportunity easy to recognize or hard to spot?

It might also be helpful to understand if opportunity was a good thing. We sometimes consider people who take advantage of opportunities as opportunistic and that’s rarely a compliment. Yet, people tend to want to be where the opportunities are.

We look at Canada as a land of opportunity because of its vast size, location, natural resources and trade agreements and, naturally, people want to live here.

Years ago, I was in conversation with a first-generation Canadian immigrant and he shared with me a saying they had in their native language about Canada that loosely translates: “Canada – big country, small minds”. He explained when people from their country came to Canada, they would see such huge opportunity all around them but couldn’t understand why many Canadians who’ve been here for generations didn’t see the same opportunities and mostly saw limitations.

If “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, is it possible that opportunity is also in the eyes of those who can see it?

Webster defines opportunity as:

  1. A favourable juncture (or point in time) of circumstances.
  2. A good chance for advancement or progress.

The ancient Greek language defined opportunity in terms of time. The two Greek words for time are chronos (the passing of time) and kairos (an opportune moment for decision or action).

From a Christian perspective, how do we spot opportunity? How do we recognize kairos moments?

Evidently, Jesus had eyes to see opportunity and recognize these moments.

After having an amazing conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, where he revealed his identity to her as Israel’s Messiah and offered living water to quench her spiritual thirst, he turned to his disciples and said:

“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35 NIV

Jesus was saying, “I know you’ve been told you must wait for your opportunities, but I say open your eyes and look – there are divine opportunities everywhere right now!”

He recognized that meeting this Samaritan woman wasn’t a coincidence. It was a divine opportunity to reach an entire Samaritan town.

He goes on to say:

“Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:36-38 NIV

There are opportunities God has lined up where much of the hard work has been done and all you have to do is recognize them and walk in them. In these verses, Jesus is specific about opportunities to lead people into God’s Kingdom, but God has many divine opportunities to bring across your path if you will recognize them – big and small.

I’m convinced that followers of Jesus who’ve committed their lives to knowing and serving Him have divine opportunities all around them – all the time. I think we don’t even have to search for them. We just have to “lift up our eyes” and we’ll see them.

These opportunities could be moments of destiny not just for our lives, but for someone else’s. They could impact not just our generation, but future generations.

The Story of Esther

The Book of Esther contains one of most compelling accounts for recognizing divine opportunity. Esther was a beautiful and young, yet unlikely Jewish woman who found favour with King Xerxes of Persia as he chose her over every other woman in the nation to be his Queen. Over time it became evident that Esther was not in the king’s palace by accident, but by divine appointment.

One day her cousin, Mordecai happened to overhear of a plot to kill the king. Both Mordecai and Esther were in the right place at the right time and Esther was able to relay the news to the king and have the conspirators arrested before the plot could be carried out.

Later, one of the king’s lead advisors, Haman, who personally hated Mordicai, deceived Xerxes into issuing a decree to exterminate all the Jews living in his kingdom. When Mordecai sent word of the decree to Esther and asked her to beg for the king’s mercy, she feared for her life. She knew approaching the king without his permission could mean death. Mordecai then sent Esther the following message:

“If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14 CSB

Both Mordecai and Esther began to recognize that maybe it wasn’t luck, or coincidence, or Esther’s beauty that brought her into her royal position. Maybe it was a divine, kairos opportunity and God was going to use Queen Esther to save an entire nation from extinction. Thankfully, Esther took a step of faith and seized this moment. Her people were spared and justice was served.

Key Thoughts on Recognizing Divine Opportunities

  • Like Esther, God has you here and is positioning you for such a time as this. You are a crucial part of His plan.
  • Don’t focus on opportunities. Focus on your relationship with God and pursue Him. Focus on serving others and the assignment God has given you. The divine opportunities will look for you and even chase you down.
  • If you miss an opportunity, ask God to forgive and forgive yourself. Move forward.
  • Ask for wisdom to recognize a divine opportunity from a distraction. A divine opportunity could seem inconvenient initially but seizing a divine moment will keep you focused on what’s important and thrust you further ahead into your destiny.
  • God doesn’t just want to bless and preserve you and your family. Like Esther, He desires that many others would be blessed through your life as you recognize His divine opportunities.
  • While divine opportunities can have high stakes, sometimes God just wants to help you with the little things in your life and may have thoughtful divine appointments along the way to remind you He loves you.
  • Ask God to open your eyes each day to the divine opportunities He is providing all around you.

As our communities continue to open up, let’s also open up and lift our eyes to see the harvest of people and divine opportunity that is all around us. Let’s take these opportunities and watch God bring a great harvest in the months and years ahead.

Opportunity Even Now

Earlier we read from John 4:36 how Jesus said “even now” there is opportunity for harvest. God has given one clear opportunity to the entire world where the moment to seize it is now:

“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NKJV

When is the time to accept Jesus and receive the salvation he provided on the cross? It’s when you hear the message – it’s now. This may be your one opportunity to receive Jesus. You may not be promised another.

Believe in God’s love for you and come to Jesus with your whole heart, on your knees. Ask Him to be your Lord and follow Him as your source of life. Find a Bible believing community to be a part of and grow in your faith – come to Coastal Church on Sunday. Learn to pray and tell others about Jesus.

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